Does early to rise and Ben Franklin’s advice lead to success?

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. This is another popular old saying having to do with the virtues of getting up early. I must confess I have tried to adhere to this one as well in my life. Perhaps, it just suits my lifestyle but somehow I can always hear it in my mind as I rise out of bed. I love to get up as early. The world is my oyster and it is just waiting for me to open it. The sooner I get up the faster I can open my oyster.

In terms of accruing benefits (health, wealth and wisdom), I would say my life has been blessed by at least one of these benefits. I have been very healthy (to date). Has this benefit accrued because of my tendency to rise early and go to bed early? I seriously doubt it. More likely it has to do with my exercise routine and watching my weight.

This saying is generally attributed to one of the founders of this country and perhaps its wisest person ever, Dr. Benjamin Franklin. It is quoted almost verbatim in his Poor Richards Almanac, thus helping to make it a very popular aphorism. However, recent research shows that the saying can be found quoted in the Paroemiologia Anglo-Latina or Proverbs English, and Latine (1639) almost one hundred years before Franklin used it.

Thus it seems obvious that old sayings have a way of being around and recycled. Perhaps, we need to rephrase it for the 21st century. A new version might go as follows: “Early to bed is quite impossible and early to rise is a silly waste of a good bed.” I know my spouse would agree with that. Can you think of a better way to rephrase this old saying?

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